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Saturday, December 22, 2018

Depth of Field

When I reread my post below my eyes glazed over from the abundance technical details about background defocus mode. Overall, my post was rather dense and  uninteresting. Lesson learned. I'll keep the technical travails about which button to push when to a minimum. Suffice it to say that I don't fully understand my camera yet so occasionally it will do something and I don't know why.

For example, I have managed to change the display on the screen so after I take a photo it flashes not only the photo but also all the info like f stops, ISO, etc. And once I set the display screen so that when I touched it, the camera took a photo. I have no idea how I turned that on but it's mysteriously off, for now at least. Somewhere in the advanced user's guide I'm sure it tells me about these things. I don't know when I will get to it because the advanced users guide comes on a CD and I don't have a CD reader.

What I do feel I am learning, a little, is depth of field. The two photos below were taken within 5 minutes of each other from the same vantage point. The top one has an f/4 aperture which I set and an ISO of 200 which I did not. The bottom has an aperture of f/2.8 with an ISO of 100. Both of these have been auto adjusted by Google photos. The zoom was the same.

Composition aside (I'm still learning) I don't know if the depth of field makes that much of a difference in these two pictures. Both have sufficiently blurry backgrounds that do not distract from the birds. The bright spot in the bottom photo (f/2.8) that looks like a corona behind the bird's head. I see this as a distraction not because of the detail but because it's, well, a corona behind the bird's head.

f/4 ISO 200

f 2.8 ISO 100
I can see why Graham recommended setting the camera to a background defocus mode of f/4. You can still get respectably blurry backgrounds and the ability to direct the focal point of your photos. The picture of grass panicles  below has a aperture of 4 and a nice blurry background. It helps there is a good color contrast.

The downy woodpecker is my best photo so far. I wish I had gotten the woodpecker's eye on the intersection of the thirds but this is a good start.